The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is as true today as it was when Benjamin Franklin said it in the 1700s.

Although Franklin was addressing fire safety at the time, the saying certainly applies to health and well-being. The idea is that it is far better to prevent an illness than to cure it.

Preventative healthcare is an important part of an individual’s physical and emotional wellness. It involves many components, from proper nutrition and exercise to managing stress and regular health screenings.

Screenings can detect chronic diseases and health problems such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and early detection can often improve treatment success.

From birth – and even before – individuals undergo a variety of tests to ensure they are on the right track to good health.

As people get older, many become more vulnerable to illness. In order to reduce this risk, a number of health checks are recommended at different stages of life.

Varying circumstances and family medical history may call for different screenings, with some highly recommended after certain ages, such as pap tests for cervical cancer, mammograms, bone density tests and prostate screenings.

Talk to your doctor about screenings relevant to your life stage, circumstance and medical history.